Wage Theft Criminalised In Queensland

The criminalisation of wage theft in Queensland means employers have a heightened level of risk to deal with

This week on Wednesday 9 September, the Queensland Government passed laws making it a criminal offence for employers to deliberately and systematically underpay workers.

The past few years have seen a veritable conga-line of high-profile enterprises committing to pay back millions of dollars in unpaid wages and entitlements.

Queensland’s Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said that wage theft affects one in four Queensland workers and accounts for $2.2 billion each year in unpaid wages and superannuation.

Mirroring the penalty faced by employees for ‘stealing as a clerk or servant’, employers in Queensland now face a maximum 10 years’ imprisonment for wage theft.

In June 2020 Victoria become the first state in the country to pass laws establishing criminal penalties for employers who deliberately underpay or don’t pay their workers.

Aurion offers you a wealth of articles and publications to help you avoid and deal with the spectre of underpayments; download our comprehensive white paper, BULLSEYE: Your Definitive Guide to Underpayments, and read our blog Avoiding the Underpayments Minefield: A Guide for Payroll Managers.